The Desert Southwest (DSW) region manages transmission facilities in Arizona, California and Nevada, including the Pacific Northwest-Pacific Southwest Intertie, and markets power from the Boulder Canyon, Parker-Davis and Central Arizona projects. DSW’s transmission system is managed from an operations center at its office in Phoenix, Ariz., in coordination with Western’s Rocky Mountain regional office.
Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, the City of Boulder City, Nev., and the Fort Mohave Indian Tribe in California are a few of the customers that rely on the hydroelectric power of the Desert Southwest Region. These customers count on the Region’s competitively-priced resources to meet the electrical needs of residents, businesses and industries in the West.
The DSW region is one of four regions within Western, a Federal power marketing administration. Western sells wholesale power and delivers bulk wholesale transmission to local utilities. Your electric company gets the power it delivers to consumers from a variety of sources, including wholesale power providers like Western, purchases and exchanges from neighboring utilities and its own generation. Employees work hard to keep bulk power moving through the interconnected transmission system so that electricity reaches your home or business.
The DSW region carries out Western’s mission to customers in Arizona, southern California and southern Nevada. Within vast open spaces and an arid mountain and desert climate, we sell about 11 billion kilowatthours of Federal hydroelectric power to cities and towns, rural electric cooperatives, Federal and state agencies and irrigation districts. This is enough energy to provide electric service for a year to more than two million homes.
The region sells and delivers power from the Boulder Canyon and Parker-Davis projects, which are operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region. The projects include powerplants at Hoover, Davis and Parker dams. We also transmit power through the Pacific Northwest-Southwest Intertie. We deliver this energy through more than 50 substations and more than 2,600 miles of Federal transmission lines. We also sell the excess generation, and surplus transmission of the Central Arizona Project’s Navajo coal-fired plant in Page, Ariz.
To keep the power flowing through the system for customers, we rely on maintenance crews at six duty stations throughout our service area. We also operate an extensive communications system using microwaves and fiber optics to coordinate the regional power system. Using this vital system, we can transmit everything from powerplant control to voice and corporate data communication.
Even in the midst of record heat waves and torrential flash flooding, we continue to meet the demand for electricity. We accomplish this by ensuring environmental protection; establishing system security and employee safety; operating and maintaining the transmission systems; scheduling and routing power; administering contracts and setting rates; and analyzing hydroelectric resources. In addition to our regional office in Phoenix, we work from five duty locations: Coolidge, Flagstaff, Page and Yuma, Ariz.; and Boulder City, Nev.
In the DSW region, we are committed to serving our customers in many ways. For example, our field crews help customers quickly restore service after storms or other major disturbances. We also encourage customers to comment on how we should operate our system in the future. In addition, we provide technical assistance through our Energy Services program. Finally, we help customers plan for future power needs.
Facing the future
We are building upon existing products and services to meet customer needs. To continue to operate efficiently in this dynamic marketplace, our region must remain committed, innovative, flexible and resourceful while continuing to provide exceptional customer service.
Part of operating efficiently involves seeking ways to address the growing need for more power in the Southwest. While Western has limited resources, we are assisting our customers in finding new energy resources. The Desert Southwest region will continue to foster the efficient and equitable use of existing and future transmission facilities by participating in regional transmission associations, planning groups and reliability organizations, including the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.
As we work amidst unprecedented change in the industry, we recognize the importance of strong customer relations and flexible, superior service. We look forward to building upon our existing relationships and creating new ones.